Friendly relations with Russia vitally important for Georgia

Georgia Materials 19 June 2006 12:52 (UTC +04:00)

(Itar-Tass) -- It is vitally important for Georgia to establish friendly relations with Russia, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili said.

For the Georgian people, all peoples living in our country, it is vitally important to establish friendly relations with Russia with due account Georgias long-term interests. At present, the relations between the two countries are very difficult and even dramatic, but we need a constant dialogue for the discussion and solution to the current problems, Mikhail Saakashvili said in an interview wit the Tbilisi-based Imedi television network, reports Trend.

In reply to a journalists query whether Georgia will abandon the course for the accession in NATO, if Russia helps Georgia in the peaceful settlement of conflicts and the restoration of the territorial integrity of the country, Saakashvili said, The main goal of the Georgian leadership is to restore the territorial integrity of the country. We can settle peacefully the current conflicts in the country and restore Georgias territorial integrity with the help of Russia or with the help of the international community involving Russia, there is no third variant, he emphasized. At present it is senseless to say theoretically what Georgia will do in response to Russias active assistance in the restoration of Georgias territorial integrity. But it is doubtless that many issues will become minor, if Russia gives an active assistance to Georgia in the solution to this task, Saakashvili pointed out.

Georgias strategic course will not change in principle and in any case Georgia will make part of the Euro-Atlantic space, another issue in what form we will be involved in it, he remarked. Meanwhile, the Georgian president noted that if the talks on Georgias accession in NATO were general a year ago, representatives of the overwhelming majority of the NATO states have stated overtly about their support to Georgia in the accession process in NATO in the recent months.